May 08, 2006

Breastfeeding 101: For Cecily and Everyone Else Who Is Afraid of La Leche League

The following steps will get you on your way to a happy and healthy breastfeeding relationship with your darling new BAY-BEE!

Step 1: Stop thinking of it as a relationship. The kid doesn't have relationships; it just doesn't want to starve to death. Also, do not put that "I make milk--What's your superpower?" blinkie on your website. I make urine; does that make me a superhero?

Step 2: Immediately after the birth, hold the baby completely horizontally, parallel to the floor, with her stomach against you and her ear, shoulder, and hip aligned. When properly positioned, she will not gaze into your eyes for any sort of mystical bonding. She will be looking directly into your armpit and will bond with the stubble you have been too tired to shave for three weeks.

Step 3: Hold the baby with one arm and grab your breast with the other. Drag your nipple down the baby's face, from her nose down to her lower lip. This will hopefully cause her to open her mouth, and will also pull her lower lip into a flanged position, which is good. When baby opens her mouth, stick your boob in it.

Step 4: At this point, nothing whatsoever will happen.

Step 5: Keep repeating Steps 1 through 3. Hopefully, about 24 hours after birth, the baby will get the idea and will grab onto your nipple and start sucking. When she does, try to keep perfectly still and don't screw her up or scare her by cheering, or you will be in a world of hurt.

Step 6: After the baby finishes eating, smear Lansinoh (or any other lanolin cream) on your nipple. Every single time. And use a lot of it--don't be shy. It will keep your nipples from doing any horrifying cracking/bleeding/other terrifying bad things. Trust me. Every time.

Step 7: Repeat Steps 1 through 6 every hour for the next six months.

That's it--you're a breastfeeding expert. It's really not so bad. Mostly, it's just really boring. Eventually you'll figure out how to read a book while breastfeeding. As long as you don't crack the kid in the head with the book, he or she probably won't mind. Good luck!

Edited to add: I love the LLL meetings in my town and highly recommend them to anyone. But if you've had eleventy-nine miscarriages or other infertility horrors and are afraid to do any sort of baby preparation before the actual baby arrives, wait and go to a meeting after the birth. Seriously, it won't make that much of a difference.

1 comment:

Cecily said...

Did you know my lactation consultant in the hospital said, nastily, that you should need lanolin if you are doing it right?


Tori latches sometimes now. But not for long... sadly. Two minutes and she hops off and screams and screams. Gah.